Study May Improve Prediction of Hurricanes,Tropical Cyclones

Posted: January 23, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Lori Jennings

Zafer Boybeyi
Zafer Boybeyi
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George Mason’s Zafer Boybeyi and a team of researchers will study hurricanes and tropical cyclones as part of a new $380,000 National Science Foundation grant. This study will combine two prediction scales – weather and climate.

“We are excited to receive a grant that will potentially allow us to move to the next level in terms of predicting these devastating storms,” says Boybeyi.

The project, titled “A Climatological Study of Atlantic Basin Tropical Storms to Provide Satellite Data Assimilation Guidance for Numerical Models,” is approved for three years.

Boybeyi, the project’s principal investigator, will lead his team in conducting a study using the past 150-year hurricane record. The results will provide satellite data assimilation guidance for numerical weather prediction models to enhance the initial conditions and subsequent accuracy of the simulations.

“Our hope is that this research will give us a better understanding and capability to predict hurricanes, thus reducing the threat that we’ve seen with recent disasters like Hurricane Katrina,” says Boybeyi.

The research will be integrated with George Mason’s new laboratory for natural hazards, which is scheduled to open this summer. The laboratory will provide real-time integrated data and analysis from multiple sources, such as weather, remote sensing and emergency planners. The data and analysis will assist public agencies in managing the risk of major natural disaster events. The company 2M and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are providing substantial funding for the laboratory.

Boybeyi is director of the Comprehensive Atmospheric Modeling Program and associate professor in the School of Computational Sciences. He is primarily interested in researching the general area of computationally intensive scientific problems, including numerical weather prediction and the transport and dispersion of hazardous atmospheric releases.

Boybeyi received his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from North Carolina State University. He was a research scientist at the Center for Atmospheric Physics at Science Applications International Corporation from 1993 to 2003.

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